PRO­JECT­ING THE NEW AGE

IT’S IN­TER­AC­TIVE ART FOR THE DIG­I­TAL ERA. IF YOU PAY A VISIT TO THIS LO­CAL ARTIST DUR­ING OPEN STU­DIOS, BE PRE­PARED TO PLAY

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - CUL­TURE - WORDS: ALICE GOR­MAN

Dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion has dis­rupted some of our core in­dus­tries – fash­ion, me­dia and re­tail. It’s also turn­ing the art world on its head, but one Gold Coast artist has cap­i­talised on the power of dig­i­tal to turn her cre­ativ­ity into an im­pres­sive port­fo­lio.

Tam­borine Moun­tain new me­dia and vis­ual pro­jec­tion artist Alinta Krauth is a true child of the new dig­i­tal age. She cre­ates “pro­jec­tion maps” on large pub­lic build­ings and much of her art port­fo­lio is avail­able to mil­lions of peo­ple on­line, through the click of a but­ton.

It’s a far cry from the in­su­lar and stuffy art world of yes­ter­year.

Alinta, like many artists, has dis­cov­ered the In­ter­net of­fers artists the power to side­step the old bar­ri­ers to en­try and con­nect di­rectly with clients and art lovers.

“It’s one of the few ca­reers where you get to have a voice and say things to the pub­lic and have the pub­lic re­spect what you’re say­ing,” says Alinta.

“I’m def­i­nitely in­ter­ested in get­ting across a mes­sage to an au­di­ence that might not nec­es­sar­ily have heard that mes­sage.

“There are some re­ally good op­por­tu­ni­ties for art and for the kind of art that I do. It’s about find­ing big com­mis­sions rather than sell­ing into pri­vate homes, be­cause it’s pro­jec­tion art. As time goes by it will be eas­ier for the pri­vate buyer to have what I do in their home. At the mo­ment you’d have to have a pretty big set up.”

On May 16 and 17, Alinta will in­vite her au­di­ence into her workspace to be part of the creative jour­ney dur­ing Open Stu­dios of the Scenic Rim.

Open Stu­dios of the Scenic Rim is now in its sev­enth year and is a cel­e­bra­tion of art and cul­ture fea­tur­ing more than 80 artists.

The event is an ini­tia­tive of the Scenic Rim Re­gional Coun­cil and cel­e­brates the re­gion’s rich and di­verse artis­tic and cul­tural com­mu­nity.

The month-long event runs across five week­ends, fin­ish­ing in Ca­nun­gra and Boonah on May 30 and 31.

Alinta will be the artist in res­i­dence at Larkin Art Projects, North Tam­borine, where visitors will be of­fered “an im­mer­sive dig­i­tal experience” as they walk through her pro­jec­tion map­ping on to sculp­tural pieces.

“My plan is to turn the space into an in­ter­ac­tive light room, us­ing pro­jec­tion,” she says. “The space will also be au­rally im­mer­sive, with speak­ers set up. This will be a chance for peo­ple to in­ter­act with the space.”

Alinta grew up on Tam­borine Moun­tain and left for univer­sity with plans to study jour­nal­ism and psy­chol­ogy.

But once at uni she was nat­u­rally drawn to­wards classes about the newly emerg­ing dig­i­tal world and chose in­stead to fo­cus on vis­ual art.

“I thought, ‘Bug­ger it, I’ll do what I know and what I’m good at, even though there’s not nec­es­sar­ily a fu­ture in it’. Now the places that you can take your art are so vast. The type of tech­nolo­gies I’ve had to learn to do what I’m do­ing has been im­mense.

“As an artist I have to know a lit­tle bit about how to code, I do a lot of pro­jec­tion map­ping – big art­work on build­ings; and I also cre­ate in­ter­net art – art you can see through a browser.

“Th­ese things were very much in their pre­lim­i­nary stages when I was at univer­sity 10 years ago. We were still us­ing VHS tapes at uni. Now dig­i­tal art is main­stream. It’s part en­ter­tain­ment and part art.

“When you’re an artist in that space you have to con­tin­u­ally keep up with tech­nol­ogy, un­like a painter or a sculp­tor.”

Alinta’s in­ter­ac­tive on­line and pro­jec­tion work has been shown in ex­hi­bi­tions, jour­nals and fes­ti­vals in Townsville, Bris­bane, Mel­bourne, Canada, the UK and New York.

Alinta says she takes much of her in­spi­ra­tion from the en­vi­ron­ment and themes in her work in­clude bio­di­ver­sity and cli­mate change.

“Those are the things that come with liv­ing where we live,” she says. “They are the things that are im­por­tant to me be­cause I see them around me. Pro­jec­tion map­ping is of­ten seen as en­ter­tain­ment. Think of the big fes­ti­vals like VIVID and White Night in Mel­bourne and even dur­ing the G20 Sum­mit in Bris­bane. The au­di­ence doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily see it as art. They come and look at it, say ‘Yeah that’s cool’ and then walk away and don’t think of it again.”

Alinta says, de­spite the rise of dig­i­tal art among main­stream au­di­ences, new me­dia artists still bat­tle to have their work recog­nised in more tra­di­tional cir­cles. She hopes that in the fu­ture her work is seen in more main­stream gal­leries.

“It’s hard to get the art gal­leries to re­spect your work in their con­text,” she says.

“Peo­ple work­ing with tech­nol­ogy con­stantly make th­ese lit­tle ex­per­i­men­tal pieces and don’t al­ways have the time or place to be mak­ing mas­ter­pieces like a sculp­tor might.

“My goal is to take the tech­nol­ogy that’s cur­rently seen as en­ter­tain­ment and take it into an art gallery con­text.

“I do start with more tra­di­tional medi­ums. I start by draw­ing, paint­ing, or with film and pho­tog­ra­phy. I then dig­i­talise those things and take them to the com­puter where I use much newer ways of cre­at­ing art.”

Alinta says that dur­ing her Open Stu­dios artist-in-res­i­dency visitors will be able to play with the dig­i­tal games she has cre­ated and see what ef­fect they can have on her pro­jec­tion art.

“My work helps peo­ple’s dig­i­tal lit­er­acy,” she says. “A lot of peo­ple come to my works and feel a bit scared to play with it be­cause they think they will do the wrong thing. But it’s in­ter­ac­tive art­work … you’re al­lowed to play and see how what you do af­fects the vi­su­als on the screen.”

Find out more at liveatthe­cen­tre.com.au

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